Yngwie Malmsteen: 'You Wouldn't Steal A Car, Why Steal Music?'

Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen asks why music fans steal from their favorite artists, and says it's tough for new acts to break through.

Yngwie Malmsteen: 'You Wouldn't Steal A Car, Why Steal Music?'
Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen visited politicians in London last Thursday to lend his support for a new anti-piracy campaign. The "Rock The House" campaign attempts to promote the import ace of copyright and the live music sector to politicians in the UK, who have the power to make legislation to support the music industry. Malmsteen said he's lucky to have built a fan base since starting out in the 1980s, but it's tough for new artists today (via Classic Rock): "The younger musicians of newer generations, their future doesn't look too good. Everyone seems to have a CD out or YouTube videos, you know? Back in the 80s if you had a record out, you were hot sh-t! "Copyright is everything to a musician. Just like inventions, the music you write is like your own child. If it gets sold to people, you should be rewarded. No one should be able to take it from you. "You don't go around stealing cars! The rules should apply to music, film, books etc. Anything that can be distributed should be accounted for. Something has to be done. The machine is broken." It's a fair question - if most people wouldn't steal a car, why would they steal music? In some ways it seems obvious, because you're less likely to be punished for stealing music. But is it really that simple? This insightful video talks about the concept of dishonesty, and how music theft is easier to rationalise than other types of theft:
What do you think of music theft? Have you been rationalising? Will you ever change? Share your views in the comments.

217 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    I would download a car if I could tho
    damn.. so now I need to get a new external hard drive, to get a new car?...
    I think you mean 100 external hard drives.
    dammit! might as well just buy the car then... and a large hadron collider while I'm forced to spend that many money.. is that really what you want Yngwie? for me to go bankrupt just so you can enjoy a new sparkly shirt and a donut??!!1!1!!
    I'm downloading my new car right now. Uni has a 1gb per week cap though so I'm just getting the front left tire right now.
    yeah piracy it's like this: -Imagine your car got stolen, but was there when you wanted it. Piracy is piracy, not theft
    Yeah, and I'll 'pirate' your credit card details and see if you like it. You can use it when you like still, but you'll lose a bit of money every now and then from it...
    WRONG! Are you actually retarded? That's a ridiculous false analogy. If you use his credit card details to take his money without permission and, here's the important bit, LEAVE HIM AT A LOSS then it's theft, simply having a copy of the details is not, in itself, a crime. However, nobody loses ANYTHING when I download an album, IT IS A COPY AND THE ORIGINAL ITEM IS STILL INTACT AND IN THE OWNERS POSESSION. the equivalent of you stealing his money would be if I was walking into a shop and stealing a CD thus depriving the store owners of a CD and a sale. Copyright laws are a good 20 years out of date and these companies are trying desperately to convince technologically pig-ignorant lawmakers to use the power of government to inhibit technological advancement in order to save a bloated business model which is simply not sustainable in the digital age. This is the modern equivalent to if the government had banned the use of electric trains because the advancement was harmful to the coal industry. And if you're trying to portray it otherwise then you are either dishonest or stupid.
    "the equivalent of you stealing his money would be if I was walking into a shop and stealing a CD thus depriving the store owners of a CD and a sale." By doing that you are not depriving the store of a cd, but YOU ARE depriving the store of a sale. What you said doesn't make much sense. Each person downloading a cd is not stealing the original copies of the album from the artists of course, but they're still not getting paid for their work. Have you ever worked for somebody who didn't pay you? A boss or even a big company? They're not robbing you for sure, but you're not earning anything and it's not right. Musicians are still workers. We all gotta pay the bills
    Your focusing on the record store and not the band which makes your point invalid. If you copy the CD now you have the album and you didn't pay for the album. The band does not get money for the album you have. Tell me again how nobody looses anything... the thought that this is advancement is just beyond stupid.
    link no1
    These moronic comments trying to justify piracy are so amusing to read. Piracy is stealing. You have put the artist out of money by pirating it rather than buying it, this is theft. If this is too much for you to understand then I my deepest sympathy's to your parent's as they must be very upset at how unintelligent their child is.
    But they're not out of money. If I were to copy an album, I have cost them literally nothing. They didn't produce a CD, a booklet, a case or anything. I buy albums all the time, my local record store just has an absolutely pitiful selection of metal. As long as record companies are charging the exact same for licensing DRM-crippled, digital files as they are for owning physical media that actually justifies the price (because of the required manufacturing and distribution) then I will download. Show me some place that offers an album from a major label, legally, and for a fair price then I will buy it. Until then, I will skip the 15 digital downloads (same price as a physical medium) from major labels and stick to pirating the albums I cannot get on terms I feel are fair to me as a consumer.
    musicians are selling music in album form not the physical album. The bands you copy from do not see any money for the digital album you now own.... geez i thought it was pretty clear the first time I said it. I do understand your frustration with the digital pricing. It should reflect not having to make a cd. 15 is pretty steep even in physical form.
    totally agree with you. also, artists don't depend on making money from the cd profits(because the bigger percentage goes to record labels), but from concerts and t-shirts
    Of course it's theft. Do you understand copywright law? Intellectual property? Patents? You steal the rights to something, it doesn't matter whether the original owner still has a copy, it's theft.
    Can someone update Malmsteen on the past 10 years of discussion he missed?
    Stealing a car and stealing music are two completely different things and I wish they'd stop making that comparison.
    but its the ways that they are similar that matters here. not the ways they are different. the point is both are STEALING. not that one form of stealing is different than the other form of stealing. your taking something that someone has created. stealing. i dont care if you have $0 and an artist has $100 butt-f***ing trillion. u take something they own without paying. your stealing. people can bitch all day long about how these artists are rich anyway. its still stealing. its still wrong.
    Cars are a scarce resource. Music is not. Economically speaking, the music industry is an industry propped up on selling you bullshit. Hard realism will tell you that can't justify putting a price on something that is not scarce. Of course, I have spotify. Much less of a headache than finding healthy torrents. Anything too obscure for that, I have bandcamp.
    broken ipod
    of course that "endless resource" is still property of the bands and record companies so it is still OWNED PROPERTY so therefore, if they own it, they can do what they want with it. Until you buy it, it doesn't belong to you so it is stealing regardless of quantity.
    Fuck record companies. That's all I have to say about that. Also, no, most music is not the property of the bands since anyone dumb enough to sign to a record label these days signs their life away.
    His arguement was about the apparant inflated prices put on music CD's, not a justification for pirating. And I agree, the laws of supply and demand seem to be non-existant in the music industry.
    Hmm Movies arent a scarce resource either, all movies should be free, regardless of the fact that it costs around 200 million to make something in the vein of avatar. But **** it, it should be free, we are entitled to free stuff, it is our birth given right.
    Exactly, one is a piece of artwork created to capture the feelings of the artist and inspire people, the others just a way of getting around.
    Music is something that to an increasing degree is costing less and less money to produce and has 'artistic value'. A car is the culmination of the efforts of hundreds of factory workers and represents a prohibitive expense to the person you stole it from.Try again.
    Yet another celebrity that just doesn't get it . If car theft was as easy, convenient and low-risk as piracy, we'd have a huge ****ing problem.
    So, because piracy is "easy, convenient, and low-risk", it's ok? WHAT?
    The point isn't that it's okay because it's easy, low-risk and convenient. The point is that people are greedy and in fact WOULD all steal cars if it was comparatively easy, low-risk and convenient.
    I once bought a G3 DVD in wich he was playing, so i think a have payed money to him. The thing about the new generation artists isn't true i think. If i was born 20 years earlier i don't think that i would have discovered Ygnwie at all, but now because of youtube and downloading i could find his music. I tried it, and i liked it. I once bought a DVD wich i probably never would have bought if i couldn't listing to his music for free on the internet.
    savage axe
    thats true for sure if it was'nt for youtube i probably would'nt hear much new music or bands so i would certainly not be buying their cds or dvds.
    I'd pay for my music, but some things are a little more important. Like food and electric bills.
    I agree. I mean if I released an album I would prefer people pay for it, but no one can possibly pay for all the music they listen to. If someone couldn't pay for my album, I'd want them to hear it anyways. That's what art is about.
    So if you can't afford it, steal it? Look, i have no issue with people illegally downloading stuff, but don't try and morally justify it. It's stealing and it's illegal. If you're cool with that, knock yourself out. But don't fall back on the old 'I can't afford it' spiel. I can't afford lots of things, so I don't have them. It's the way the world works.
    Nah I don't steal. I have an awesome method. Take theese steps 1. Open eBay account 2. Buy a couple used CDs 3. Rip the CDs to your hard drive 4. Sell the same CDs for the same price you bought them for with shipping and eBay fees attached 5. Lol government can't sue me mother fu@@ers. Hurrdur huuuurrrrrddddduuuurrrrr
    if i would go to work instead of doing these steps i could easily afford the cds anyway!
    Actually, it's still illegal to keep those cds ripped on your computer after you sell the hard copies. Sorry to burst your bubble.
    Double edged sword, no? You can't talk about why its alright to do so, but I'm allowed to sit here and talk about why its wrong. Those comments are just as, if not MORE irritating..
    Legally and morally, it isn't alright to do so. That's my point. Now, if you want to go ahead anyway, I don't care and I'm not stopping you. Just don't kid yourself that its 'alright'. The law says it's not and in most cases the artist says it's not.
    Actually, people steal from others all the time. Especially in larger businesses and in politics. THAT is the way the world works.
    And sometimes they get caught, because doing so is against the law. That's the point I'm making. Yes, people are going to steal, and people are going to download music illegally. I don't give a damn what they do, just don't make excuses for it.